The BMW 3 Series is an excellent car that boasts high quality, attention to detail and a long list of high-tech features. Sure, it's a bit less engaging to drive than it used to be, with less tactile steering. But the car is agile, steady and well balanced, even when pushed hard. It also still delivers a very satisfying and balanced overall driving experience.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard, available in rear from 2000. Head protection air bags standard from 2000. ESC standard from 2001.
Road Test

The BMW 3 Series is an excellent car that boasts high quality, attention to detail and a long list of high-tech features. Sure, it's a bit less engaging to drive than it used to be, with less tactile steering. But the car is agile, steady and well balanced, even when pushed hard. It also still delivers a very satisfying and balanced overall driving experience.

Ride comfort, cabin quietness and interior fit and finish are all impressive. The rear seat has gained a little breathing room over the years, but it's still tight and some controls remain needlessly complicated.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
4-door hatchback
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbodiesel (180 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (180 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (240 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 hybrid (335 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (300 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (425 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 BMW 3 Series owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"BMW has had to replace all of my cameras and parking sensors 3 times"

Zac W., TX (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Persistent problem with insensitive or over sensitive blind spot detection despite numerous adjustments and hardware replacements. Still glitchy. Extremely frustrating for a high end vehicle. My wife's Rav 4 by comparison performs impeccably"

Anonymous, ON (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"The front distance sensors have been repaired/replaced twice in the last year"

Kelly V., CA (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"While using IDrive GPS and CD player, screen went blank and system reset after 1 to 2 minutes"

Anonymous, CT (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Backup camera not always on when needed, too busy telling you not to read screen when driving., which is a huge annoyance"

Steven K., OH (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Often won't sync with iPhone for phone book recognition or music / audiobook playback in Bluetooth mode"

Anonymous, ON (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Samsung Galaxy S5 originalhy synched phone book with iDrive system using bluettooth. After three weeks, the pairing became erratic and the phone book data stopped synching except immediately after unpairing and re-pairing"

Michael R., CA (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"Does not always understand what the destination I have asked for. I speak distinctly and clearly, but it still fails. Same comments as I made with my E300 M-B"

Anonymous, IL (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Integration with the Apple iPhone is awful, downright terrible. BMW completely unable to play podcasts. Pandora interface is klunky at best. A real, real disappointment overall"

Anonymous, MA (2015 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Radio

"Have sometimes lost the presets for the radio. Once it wouldn't work at all. Usually when the presets disappear they come back, but not always"

John F., CT (2015 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Not sure this is a defect or a design issue, but only stations in the AM radio band between 680 khz and 1200 khz appear on pick list, call letters and program information do not appear for most stations, and sound quality is very poor"

Michael R., CA (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

"Injector failure"

Anonymous, FL (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel pump

"Recall"

Anonymous, NJ (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"The dealer had to replace the high pressure fuel pump, fuel assembly, all fuel lines and fuel tank assembly. Because we live in CA, there was no cost. Otherwise, it would have cost us $10K!"

Anonymous, CA (2015 BMW 3 Series 328d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"fuel pump failed on freeway"

Anonymous, OR (2015 BMW 3 Series 320i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"They had to be reset"

Anonymous, PA (2015 BMW 3 Series 328d 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Horn

"Known service issue loaded up in BMW's computer system. A driver started to pull out in front of me. Horn didn't work and had to take evasive action in pouring down rain. Car responded great in terms of emergency handling"

Anonymous, NC (2015 BMW 3 Series 320i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Warning light come on and go off without rhyme or reason. The dealer has never had an explanation for this problem"

Anonymous, LA (2015 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The engine light turns on, once in a while, and then after turning the engine off and on it was off"

Carlos S., FL (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i 3.0-L 6 Cyl hybrid)
Wiper motor or washer

"The wipers don't come on when the windshield washers spray about 80% of the time. They do come on automatically intermittently"

Anonymous, VA (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"The vehicle control module was finally replaced after 3rd visit. Tire pressure was good per air gauge but low on car computer. Could not rest. C 2nd car went into limp home mode and traction control kicked in not letting the car to accelerate at normal rate on dry pavement. 3rd visit was the tire pressure system"

Anonymous, NC (2015 BMW 3 Series 320i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Premature brake wear

"For the second time time lease of the vehicle I needed to replace a pair of brake rotors and pads. The first time it was covered by BMW, the second time (different pair) I had to pay for this"

Gregg H., ON (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"Brake/s were squealing at low speeds that was fixed under warranty by dealership"

Prashanth R., TX (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"When braking at speeds over 50 mph the brake system feels like I'm driving over rumble strips and there's vibration"

Anonymous, VA (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Door seal on drivers side front leaked"

Anonymous, NY (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"This generation of cars has a problem with rattles from the dash area as well as door seals and other trim. Even loaners that I get have these problems. Dealer has not been able to address these to my satisfaction and I have given up"

Anonymous, CA (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"a very annoying grating sound intermittently from the rear hub - sound like rocks scraping metal - we were advised that pebbles get stuck in the brake shield"

Anonymous, HI (2015 BMW 3 Series M3 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"brakes, heat shields collect stones or debris causing noise, also interior vibration around the back rear window specifically under hard acceleration"

Richard H., ON (2015 BMW 3 Series M3 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

"Front windshield developed large rack without being hit by rock, etc"

Kelly V., CA (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Sunroof shattered while driving. BMW fixed under warranty"

Charles G., AZ (2015 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Seat controls - movement

"Passenger power seat failed. Required 3 trips to dealer to repair"

Charles H., CA (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Electrical plug was not connected"

Anonymous, AL (2015 BMW 3 Series 320i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Blower (fan) motor

"Blower motor for the climate control starting to make a loud whirling noise. BMW warranty covered the replacement"

Logan S., CO (2015 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"A/C failed during highway trip. Comes on and off for no apparent reason. Dealer fixed free of charge"

Anonymous, CT (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"The car made a loud whistling noise when the engine was running. I took the car in. They said they tightened everything they could in the engine and exhaust systems and the problem went away"

Anonymous, CA (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Other/unsure

"Online Widgets!"

Anonymous, CT (2015 BMW 3 Series 320i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

"At 9200 miles the car required alignment. Alignment not covered on a new car under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2015 BMW 3 Series 320i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Just a simple case of the "check engine" light coming on, necessitating a service visit and a download of the latest engine firmware from BMW. Nothing was wrong with the car, the software had to be revised"

Anonymous, MA (2015 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Turbo or supercharger

"Air intake hose to mass air flow sensor failure. check engine light on, intake hose assembly replacement"

Anonymous, PR (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Transfer case

"Replaced"

Anonymous, IL (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

"does not start when push start"

Anonymous, ON (2015 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"At 14000 miles. Had to get a new transmission"

Zac W., TX (2015 BMW 3 Series 335i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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